Excise duties are taxes levied on goods destined for consumption. The state, who needs to cover its expenditure through tax revenue, imposes excise duties because they de facto affect each and every consumer (citizens and companies), ensure a high level of income and involve quite simple administration.
Excise duties can be roughly categorised into energy (and electricity) taxes and taxes on luxury foods, alcohol and tobacco. Energy taxes include the taxes imposed on “classic” mineral oil products (energy products such as natural gas and coal) as well as those imposed on electricity (as of 1999) and, since 2011, the nuclear fuel tax. In Germany, taxes on luxury goods include taxes imposed on spirits (ethyl alcohol), beer, sparkling wine, alco-pops, coffee and tobacco.
There are many different types of taxation. And to complicate matters further, not all types of consumption are necessarily subject to taxation. The state only wants to collect duties for certain types of consumption. Establishing when and how the conditions for tax reductions are met can therefore be quite a complicated matter. And this also applies to the individual tax legal provisions to be observed by companies dealing in goods subject to excise duties.
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